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Download The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds, by Alexander McCall Smith Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,059 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Alexander McCall Smith Narrator: Davina Porter Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Isabel Dalhousie Series Release Date: October 2012 ISBN: 9781470323967
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Nothing captures the charm of Edinburgh like the bestselling Isabel Dalhousie series of novels featuring the insatiably curious philosopher and woman detective Isabel Dalhousie.  Whether investigating a case or a problem of philosophy, the indefatigable Isabel, one of fiction’s most richly developed amateur detectives, is always ready to pursue the answers to all of life’s questions, large and small.

In this latest installment of Alexander McCall Smith’s endearing series, the Edinburgh philosopher and amateur sleuth answers an unexpected appeal from a wealthy Scottish collector who has been robbed of a valuable painting.

One afternoon over coffee at Cat’s delicatessen, a friend of Isabel’s shares a call for help from Duncan Munrowe. Crafty thieves have stolen a prized painting from his collection, a work by the celebrated French artist Nicolas Poussin that was earmarked for donation to the Scottish National Gallery. Munrowe has been approached by the thieves and hopes that Isabel will assist him in recovering the painting. Never one to refuse an appeal, she agrees, and discovers that the thieves may be closer to the owner than he ever would have expected.

Against the backdrop of this intriguing case, Isabel copes with life’s various issues. She and Jamie have begun to suspect that their three-year-old son, Charlie, might be a budding mathematical genius. What should be done about it? Then there is the question of whether Isabel should help a young couple who wants to move in together—against the wishes of the girl’s parents. The boyfriend is hoping Isabel might intercede.

As she wrestles with these problems, Isabel finds herself tested as a parent, a philosopher, and a friend. But, as always, she manages to use the right combination of good sense, quick wits, and a kind heart to come to the right solution, proving once again why Isabel Dalhousie has become one of Alexander McCall Smith’s most beloved characters.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “McCall Smith spikes his heroine’s seemingly cloistered world with enough close encounters with tragedy—a neighbor stabbed to death by someone he brought home, for example—to make both Isabel and the reader aware of the fragility of good fortune. Utterly satisfying.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “With his usual deft hand, Smith conjures characters with a few lines—housekeeper Grace with her short fuse is particularly alive—and he has a knack for combining light comedy and serious thought.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “A delight…The leisurely paced plot combined with well-loved characters is like a retreat for the mind. Narrator Davina Porter adds even more charm to Isabel’s philosophical meanderings as she edits ‘The Review of Applied Ethics,’ raises her three-year-old son with her much adored younger husband, Jamie, and is solicited by a friend to help solve the mystery of an art theft.”

    AudioFile

  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A Publishers Weekly Bestseller
  • A USA Today Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Emily Topinka | 2/19/2014

    " This is my least favorite of his series, but I still enjoy spending some time in Edinburgh with these characters. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joanne Hyland | 2/6/2014

    " As always Alexander McCall Smith welcomes you into Isabel's world and it feels like sinking into a warm, relaxing bath. While Isabel questions her motives for doing things and asks if her actions or thoughts are morally or ethically sound, she also takes human pleasure in taking a little dig at those who have crossed her or displeased her in some way. She openly owns to finding certain people irritating or annoying but will always rationalise and often excuse their behaviour. She leads a comfortable existence but is aware of it and she reminds us and herself to take notice of and pleasure in the simple things in life. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gina Rae | 2/5/2014

    " I listen to AMS on audio and I just love Davina Porter's voice. Any trace of Edinburgh makes me have a happy day. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cmazzara | 1/29/2014

    " Like all in this series...I loved it! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Katy Archer | 1/27/2014

    " I just love all Alexnder Mccall Smith books, and this certainly did not disappoint. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Deborah | 1/19/2014

    " I love Isabel - I love the way these books bring up deep issues in a quiet way - interesting to have her thinking more in this book about how the wealth she has was acquired "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Heidi | 1/15/2014

    " The Dalhousie books are all relatively quick and enjoyable reads. I like the trains of thought the main character goes on, though the plots of these books leave a bit to be desired. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David Allen White | 1/10/2014

    " One of my favorite authors. I read everything by him. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Niru | 12/26/2013

    " another stellar book from one of my favorites. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Caroline | 12/16/2013

    " Absolutely love Isabel. This one left me a little unhappy. Ending was too open ended and unsatisfying. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Max | 12/14/2013

    " The mystery of the stolen painting is interesting. Its ambiguity adds realism. The story is more serious and reflective, lacking some of the author's characteristic subtle humor. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Abcdarian | 12/6/2013

    " While the plot was a bit thin, the philosophy was enjoyable as ever. The biggest drawback to a McCall Smith book is that it's over too soon! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sharen | 11/22/2013

    " Reading Alexander McCall Smith is like relaxing with a good friend. Wonderful for middle-of-the-night reading! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susan Odetta | 10/8/2013

    " The book was balm for my never-ending bout of flu....unfortunately the flu outlasted the book and now I can't find anything else to read so curative. Bummer. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Craig Fiebig | 9/29/2013

    " Too simplistically formulaic. A thin veneer of character development compared to his other books. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kay | 6/27/2013

    " Isabel's life progresses in this book but not in a way McCall Smith usually uses. This time the mystery Isabel helps with takes on the vast majority of the story line. While there are references to Charlie, Jamie and others they are very minor in this story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jo | 6/10/2013

    " Another installment in the life of Isabel, Jamie & Charlie along with a mysterious Art theft caper for Isabel solve. Still loving the series. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Margaret Heller | 5/5/2013

    " I think Isabel is lightening up a bit finally. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cindy | 3/4/2013

    " I would love to spend some time with Isabel, we could drift and reconnect over and over. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Phil | 2/21/2013

    " light mindless and cheerful "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cheryl | 1/28/2013

    " Not as enjoyable as other books in this series "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer Shepard | 1/8/2013

    " Isabel Dalhousie is always charming. This installment felt most like a proper mystery, yet lacked the fireworks of a big reveal (was more subtle, which is Isabel's style). Right book at the right time for me. "

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